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The Roundup for April 5, 2012

Opening Day in baseball! Where hope springs eternal, only to be crushed slowly and inexorably over the next six months, until the team with the most money wins. It’s very American.

• Jamie Dimon describes the mortgage crisis in a letter to shareholders as a “collective brain freeze.” Well, that’s one piece of testimony I’d like to hear this defendant make in court.

• Looks like there’s a real race for the Presidency of the World Bank, but that could be a smokescreen for when the US lays down the hammer. Incidentally, I agree with Joe Stiglitz that the principle of the thing is that Jim Yong Kim shouldn’t get a free ride to the presidency because the US selected him. But what did Kim do to get on Felix Salmon’s bad side? This is just hyperbolic beyond belief.

• Do read Rick Perlstein on Rahm Emanuel. Sorry Chicago, he’s your problem now.

• I think the idea of eliminating the mandate while keeping the penalty may work on some level, but I don’t think the Court is innovative enough to want to try it out. I do agree that just eliminating the mandate would provide a fascinating health policy experiment.

• This is another ALEC special: an abortion law in Mississippi that requires the abortion providers to be board-certified with admitting privileges at a hospital. As this is not how abortion providers in the state currently operate, the result will be to shut down access to abortion in Mississippi totally.

• The richest Americans pay the most in taxes because they make the most money. But actually, the studies show that they pay around the same percentage as everyone else, meaning that we already have a flat tax system, when you take everything into account.

• Deportations separate families. Tens of thousands of them every year.

• In Wisconsin, Republicans have chosen their fake Democrats to run in primary races to set the timing of the recall elections.

• After many false starts, the wireless spectrum auction that is scored as a money maker for budgetary purposes got passed in the payroll tax deal. Now the FCC has to administer the sale.

• The US withheld data from British intelligence on terrorist activities in the UK, entirely because they believed the courts would use the data to expose evidence of torture. Marcy Wheeler has more.

• In the wake of a new Kony2012 film, here’s the untold story about the right-wing evangelical links between Invisible Children and The Fellowship, as well as Uganda’s “kill-the-gays” bill.

• Newt Gingrich is hardly Rick Santorum’s problem. More like Rick Santorum is Rick Santorum’s problem.

• Expect many more Republican X lobbied for the individual mandate stories before this election is out. This one’s from the Washington Examiner.

• I had no idea: the Upper Big Branch mine, site of a two year-old disaster, will be permanently sealed.

• Is action to stop climate change relatively cheap?

• This hacking into private communications was in the public interest, says Sky News, another Murdoch company. Other outlets haven’t used this defense; can we assume the News of the World hacking wasn’t in the public interest, then?

• Republican Tim Johnson’s apparent retirement is both huge news and totally disrespectful to David Gill, his three-time Democratic opponent who won his primary again. Gill “can’t win,” according to Johnson, so he felt free to retire after winning his primary in a Dem-leaning district.

• Um, actually, collective bargaining is a right, Scott Walker. It’s in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

• Donald Trump loves him some conspiracy theories, no?

• Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus is the worst public official anywhere in America.

• California spends six times more on every inmate than they do on every student.

• Here’s an example of the President’s continued thrall for big-cost weapons systems.

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David Dayen

David Dayen